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#960529 - 11/27/04 01:44 PM Is there an "Ultimate" Teaching Method?
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
Recently I was involved in a very heated debate as to whether or not there is one right or wrong way to teach a student how to play piano! The Chief Examiner of a major teaching body here in Canada and I were engaged in a discussion regarding the fact that I beleived that a well balanced musical education included classical, jazz and contemporary music. I contended that there was no right or wrong way to teach the piano, but that if the student wanted to be as well rounded as possible, they should be exposed to as many types of music as possible. The response left me flabbergasted. "How do you expect to create a well rounded musician, if you don't allow them to acheive mastery of one AND only one style of playing?"
My response was that "Mastery of one style is NOT the goal when discussing 'well rounded' I always thought that if the student was paying for the teachers time it was the STUDENTS lesson. Their time to learn the style(s) of music that made playing the piano the most enjoyable experience it should be. The true mastery of the piano is the enjoyment." I was told that I was wrong and only classical music could produce a well rounded musician! Any Opinions?
ProPiano

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#960530 - 11/27/04 02:03 PM Re: Is there an "Ultimate" Teaching Method?
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
There is no ultimate teaching method.

There are merits to learning Jazz, and there are merits to learning the various styles that fall under the umbrella of "classical" music.

A solid musical education - whether it involves just Jazz, just classical or a combination of styles - includes, but goes beyond the endeavor for an enjoyable experience.

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#960531 - 11/27/04 07:13 PM Re: Is there an "Ultimate" Teaching Method?
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
I am sure I understand what youre saying but...What do you mean by "Goes beyond the endeavor for an enjoyable experience"?
ProPiano

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#960532 - 11/28/04 09:24 AM Re: Is there an "Ultimate" Teaching Method?
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
Enjoyment is an important component, but there are many benefits to a good music education that go beyond that.

Also, when you study with a teacher you are not just paying for their time. You are working together to obtain a common goal. Part of that includes you communicating what you want out of lessons, and part of that includes you keeping an open mind about the teacher's methods.

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#960533 - 11/28/04 01:40 PM Re: Is there an "Ultimate" Teaching Method?
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
Thanks!
Most helpful!
ProPiano

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#960534 - 11/30/04 06:12 AM Re: Is there an "Ultimate" Teaching Method?
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
As to the original question: No.

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#960535 - 11/30/04 09:30 PM Re: Is there an "Ultimate" Teaching Method?
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
Now as to the comment made by this person that ONLY a classical education can make a well rounded musician??? WHat say you there???
Just interested to know if my train of thought is still on track! I am interested in many perspectives on this idea???

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#960536 - 12/01/04 10:14 AM Re: Is there an "Ultimate" Teaching Method?
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1529
I do agree, students should be exposed to classical, jazz and contemporary music.
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#960537 - 12/01/04 04:04 PM Re: Is there an "Ultimate" Teaching Method?
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
 Quote:
Now as to the comment made by this person that ONLY a classical education can make a well rounded musician??? WHat say you there???
A well rounded musician, IMO, needs to have the following skills:

1. Proper technic, to become proficient at the keyboard (hand position, speed, dexterity)
2. Theory- thorough understanding of the language of music
3. Ear-training- good listening skills to assist in memory
4. Sight-reading proficiency-absolutely imperative to be a functional musician
5. Performance opportunities to reinforce memory, among other things

If teachers of other methods, ie: Jazz and contemporary, are careful to include all these important aspects, then, Yes, a student may not need a classical education to become a well-rounded student.

My experience has been that most teachers, classical or not don't include all these important components. Most classical teachers that I know (even well respected teachers) focus on Technic and Performance and rarely encourage their students to spend large amounts of time becoming proficient in the other areas.

Just my .02 cents

cranky \:D
_________________________
www.tcwresources.com

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#960538 - 12/01/04 10:11 PM Re: Is there an "Ultimate" Teaching Method?
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1529
Well said.
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#960539 - 12/01/04 10:22 PM Re: Is there an "Ultimate" Teaching Method?
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
Thank you very much!
I appreciate all of your input! It has been very valuable!

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#960540 - 12/03/04 10:32 PM Re: Is there an "Ultimate" Teaching Method?
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Why bother to cross swords with an Examiner?
Sadly examiners are washed up musicians.

Formal education has left them with little more than a penchant for musical theory. Missing out on the fun side of music - no talent for the concert platform or teaching - the flotsam finishes up spouting pedantic mumbo jumbo to a suitably awed novice theory class or reaches the end of the line as an Examiner.

The question of a "well-balanced" musical education is loaded.

Musical training can only provide the student with the tools to adventure on the lifetime path of an expanding insight into music. The pity is that too many of the fuddy-duddy Professors concentrate excessively on what my students refer to as "the dead guys". All those Baroque and Classical era heavies, the dull Alberti bass gang, writers of endless second-rate Etudes, Hanon's dull fingering exercises, hyper-reverence for Bach's WTC and pervading all - that aloof, snotty-nosed attitude of looking upon Jazz and popular music as being inferior fare.

Perhaps what ProPiano is suggesting is a more user-friendly musical training for fresh youth.

My own teaching experiences point to best progress when the student is captivated by the music being studied. If Jazz is the motivating carrot, don't use a stick.

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#960541 - 12/04/04 04:04 PM Re: Is there an "Ultimate" Teaching Method?
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1529
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#960542 - 12/05/04 07:35 AM Re: Is there an "Ultimate" Teaching Method?
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
Not exactly my suggestion,
But I appreciate the input from all concerned.
Like i said in my original post it was a fairly heated debate with the examiner, and i thought what better place to find out what sort of opinions prevail than the PW forums..
Again, I thank everyone for their take on a "well rounded musician" albeit a "loaded question"!
ProPiano

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